The case against comments

I quit using comments on all of my sites several years ago. Here’s why:

  1. Everyone thinks they’re an expert, and they’re happy to let you know why you’re wrong, anonymously and cowardly.
  2. Comments that praise you or the article are useless and often self-serving.
  3. It’s generally not a good use of time to respond to every negative and challenging statement, but if those comments exist at the end of an article, it’s difficult to ignore them.
  4. Comments are rife with negativity. People use comments to hate on everything.
  5. Spam is virtually unavoidable in comments.
  6. Comments with recommendations often blur the line between self-promotion and helpfulness.
  7. In almost every case, comments don’t offer any SEO value. It would be best if you never relied on comments to disambiguate your content.
  8. Most commenting systems that leverage user accounts and auto-moderation add unnecessary code and load time to the page.
  9. You have to moderate comments if you care about what people read on your site. It’s not worth the time or effort.

Excluding comments allows you to fully control the message and experience when people read your content. Keeping comments because you think they’re better for SEO is a fallacy. Comments are more likely to ambiguate page content than disambiguate it for search engines. Lastly, why spend your time moderating and replying to comments when you could spend it doing something more productive, like writing your next article?